Tuesday, June 30, 2009

James Callis is... Hat Man!

A.k.a. I started summer holiday today and am posting this completely brain-free post just to celebrate it. Bear with me, I just worked seven days in a row.

(Warning: If you don't want the Batman theme stuck in your head, stop reading now.)

Hat man!

Doo doo! Hat man!

Hat maan!

(above screenshots by kixxa, posts here, here and here.

Hat man! Doo doo!

Hat man, hat man, hat man!

Hat maaan!
(screenshot and alpaca pic by M)

Post by: Hat Girl! Doo doo!

Da da da da da da - Hat giiirl!

Thank you. Posts with more content coming soon :D

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Evening With James Callis - an All-James Con!

On September 12th, there will be a BSG con in Bonn, Germany. James will be the only guest. *gush!*

This is to make up for his early departure from FedCon Germany. It's one evening with a Q&A, photo op, autographs and a party afterwards that James might also attend.

More information here at Battlestar Blog.

This will be a much smaller thing, and while there may not be as many reports as usual, the fans who go might have more of a chance to talk to him. I will keep an eye on the reports. I probably won't be going myself, but the situation might still change.

Either way, I'm really psyched about this. A con with just James! JamesCon! Or CallisCon? ChesthairFury. Entrance fee includes one free chest hair. Only it should last a week, and have only one guest - me. Then it'd be like a dream come true.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

James Callis Quote of the Week: "Conversation Is a Form of Conversion"

It is only through understanding that we can create, you know.. harmony, really. My feeling is.. as a person, not in the show.. is that the only thing you have is other people, and their ideas, and how you meet them and their ideas. And conversation is a form of conversion, they come from the same root. it's desperately important that people start speaking form the same hymn sheet or start understanding where people are coming from. You know, to negate it actually is.. prejudicial, it shows a kind of ignorance and... fear.

We really do live in a world laced with fear right now. We can't seem to help it and the news seems to perpetuate it. And I think we've got a very... I think the task for us as human beings right now is to try and get rid of that fear. The only way you can get rid of that fear is talking to peple, is dialogue, lots of dialogue all of the time. It's a lot more difficult to want to klil somebody when you're face to face with them. It's a lot easier when you're removed, you can do it on the internet or on a telephone line that you can't see somevbody on... It's about finding our humanity.

This is from the BBC Cult TV interview done in 2004. The chosen quote is a response to "Why it's important to know your enemy."

It's a very rare old interview in that it still works. I should really transcribe the whole thing; it's one of my favorite interviews, because it really goes sort of deeper under the skin. Many of the first interviews during BSG were just "how did you get the role" (well, that's in there too) and "what's it like to work with Tricia Helfer" - which is also there, actually, but at least they asked something a bit deeper as well. My only complaint is that the videos are in a weird aspect ratio, and James' face looks twice as wide (he still looks skinny though, just squashed). It's a bit disturbing. But the stuff he says is great. On to the quote.

I like that Professor James shows up briefly to say that conversation and conversion have the same root. It's not just to show off, I think; he's making a good point. When you have dialogue with people, you learn to know the way they think, and it's very difficult to hate someone when you understand their thinking - their pain, their fears, their anxieties, and so forth. My theory is that when you get to know a person, you can no longer hate them, because no one's ugly inside. (I haven't ever gotten to know mass murderers and such though, so I could be wrong in some cases.)

I also agree totally on the fear argument. I'd even call it hysteria - almost every month, there is a new news item that inspires fear and panic. Swine flu is the latest example. I think we need more calm discussion of big issues, and less "OMG watch out you're gonna die!" It seems to grab the least informed the most, like people instinctively grab onto fear when they're not sure if something is safe. There's nothing wrong with playing it safe, per se, but I think it's psychologically unhealthy to live in fear.

I'm not a huge fan of the "face to face vs. internet" argument, because my experience is that you can get to know people very deeply online and share things you'd be shy to share offline. A lot of conversation depends on context - they might or might not be from the same root - and it can be difficult to create an intimate context if you're meeting a friend in a coffee shop.

However, I guess what he's talking about here is a context of prejudice and hate, and in that case, the internet can indeed be a place where hate is spread freely. It's easy to hate people you can't see - you lose the idea that they're all somebody's daughter or son, somebody's friend, wife, husband, mother, father, etc. There's something about the internet that makes it easy to see different people as a manifestation of their ideas, rather than as human beings with feelings. Debate and trollery can be a very fine line to draw, and I've seen this many times. (And maybe even been guilty of it myself.)

I love when James talks about understanding other people. He's very serious and warm talking about this, and you can tell we're going into his core values here. Sometimes I think he should be a diplomat.

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Reactions: "Daybreak, Part 1" (All Gaius & Six)

Looking through old posts, I saw this - it's a full post, I don't know why I never published it. I've been wanting to blog about Julius Baltar and the flashbacks, so this made my work a lot easier. Obviously spoilers if you haven't seen the episode.

I'm so behind with these first reactions that it's not even funny, but I'm still in recovery, so I might never get around to posting those. Either way, I just have to comment on the latest episode, and since this is the Baltarstar Blog, I'll only talk about Gaius and Six today. (I might post more about the others later, or not.) SPOILERS for those who haven't seen the episode. Just rest assured it was frakking awesome.

So, just to start off, I have to say:


That is so true that I have to say it again in a Tigh voice:

Oh my fraakking goods, Jaames fraakking Caallis iis a fraakking geeeniuus!

You can say the above, only replace James Callis with Tricia Helfer, or Ron D. Moore, or Michael Rymer, and it will still be equally true.

All through this season, I have hoped for some unhurried, beautiful Baltar/Six moments (be it HeadSix or Caprica), and now I feel like I've gotten it. I hope there will be even more in the finale next week, but for now, I feel really, truly satisfied. They gave space for the characters, as opposed to hurrying the plot along, and that was a great choice. There were no big reveals, but still I feel like something new was set up, and we saw another side of Baltar. Also, I'm now convinced Baltar and Six will be important for the finale, and that feels so good after seeing them shoved aside for much of season 4.

So we see the first date of Gaius and Six. They're in a stretch limo, Gaius is being all arrogant and pompous. "It's crazy but I can't remember your name" - hee! Six start kissing him passionately, as if to make him forget the question. (She would have had to use some name as a cover though, right? But it was still amusing, like, 'No, we won't give her a name at this point, she's Caprica Six.') Their first makeout session is interrupted by a call to Gaius,

Obviously, the father doesn't appreciate his son. This is an award-winning scientist, and yet his father implies he doesn't appreciate "an honest day's work", as if physical labor is the definition of "work". So there does seem to be hurt from his father that Gaius didn't appreciate his heritage (changing the accent) and his work (not continuing with the farm). But it definitely goes both ways: Julius diminishes Gaius into a no-good womanizing slob who hasn't achieved anything in his life. He also diminishes Six into a whore, even implying she charges Gaius for sex. Does Julius have any respect for his son? Obviously not. Is he grateful for the money and time Gaius has spent getting him care and a place to live? Absolutely not.

I mean, yes, Gaius doesn't seem particularly keen on spending time with his father. They obviously don't have anything in common. He wants to take care of him by paying for stuff, instead of personal care. But that's not the same as negligence in my book. If the father is always this toxic, it's actually very kind of Gaius to have any direct contact at all.

Baltar's arrogant mask falls off and he's a desperate little boy who's still being abused by his father, no matter what he does for him. He beats his father with a newspaper: "Stop it! Stop it!" (By the way, it's clearly frakking and git, not fucking and dick like some people are suggesting.)

Julius was totally enjoying the situation. He loves humiliating his son. He even looked happy as Six left. Gaius was the only one to get truly agitated, and he seemed like he was acting out of desperation, not rage.

-I love that Gaius' father's name is Julius. As in Gaius Julius Caesar?

-I loved seeing the lake house again. I've missed it.

-James has recovered a bit by these episodes and is looking great again. Thin, but great. It's like he got his face back. I said, "He is handsome!" so many times that my girlfriend just laughed at me.

Then a little friendly message to those who are saying "Yes, this is the kind of Gaius he is, he'll beat an old helpless man with a newspaper."

Oh hai. Are you those same people who said Gaius has no conscience and has never felt any guilt? Yeah, thought so.

Some questions and points you might want to consider before you completely judge him:

-How would you feel if your father behaved like that with you? Gaius has his bad sides, but he's a person too, and he has a need to be loved and appreciated by his parents. His desperate need to be validated by others might even stem from his father's negligence.

-Have we ever seen Gaius be truly violent to another human being (or cylon, for that matter) without any provocation? Is he really that kind of person?

-Even if he were that kind of person, why would he have randomly started hitting an old man in front of a woman he's trying to impress?

-Do I condone hitting an old man? No. But it was a pretty thin newspaper, so stop acting like it was a whip with spikes on it. It's not like the father was injured.

-If you want to hate Gaius, there are better reasons than this scene. Even I will admit that. We know so little about his father and his childhood, you can't deny the possibility that the father has been abusive.

I guess I quit here because it turned into a list, and I still hadn't gotten to Six's actions later in the episode. Feels weird to publish this now, but I still agree with everything said here, so I don't want to keep it as a draft. I'll write more about Six and Baltar's relationship in another post.

Sci Fi France Interview

I have lots of transcripts going. I wanted to do this one today, since the link wasn't working earlier and I kinda panicked I had lost it. This is a French interview done by Sci Fi France during the Jules Verne thing. It's one of my favorites. It's not necessarily any particular response or question that does it, but rather James' attitude and behavior that make it so loveable. The interviewer is bumbling and nervous, and James is patient and kind to her throughout. My heart just melts watching this.
So how would you describe your character? He has weaknesses, he's very human...

James: That's exactly what I would say. That's exactly what I was told by the director. Yeah... he's very human. He makes a lot of mistakes, um.. he's constantly trying to uh.. look after his own self-interest. Um... But he is compassionate and he has a heart. And I think that's the thing possibly that most people connect with. I don't know, but I would think so in the sense of.. it's the thing that's most affecting. It's not somebody who doesn't care, it's somebody who cares very deeply. Just happens to be on the wrong side of... whichever side he'd like to be on. This is both his strength and his weakness.

It's interesting how he says that now. In the 2004 BBC Cult TV interview, he said Baltar is only relatable because he has a conscience. It's a slightly different thing to say. It's not just that he's able to feel guilt for the things he's caused, but he's actually capable of caring about other people, caring deeply.

Like James has mentioned in some other interviews, he was the only one who didn't hate the cylons just for being cylon. He's not hateful or prejudiced or actively evil; he's just very weak and makes mistakes. As the events push him closer to other people, he becomes more and more caring and less and less narcissistic. It's like Baltar's good sides are coming out from under the arrogance and narcissism. James' final thoughts on him sound much more sympathetic than the earlier ones (for instance, he said in 2005 that fans should really question why they feel sympathy for this character).

Are you personally a fan of sci fi or... (James turns his head to the wall for a moment, looking serious - he does that again later, so he's probably just thinking, but she seems to interpret it as a sign of not liking the question)... not so much?

James: I think all boys are on some level. You know, pretty much.. My kids, they.. they haven't really seen Star Wars, but they love Luke Skywalker, they love.. they're already into you know, Darth Vader and all of htis kind of stuff.. yeah, it's a part ofthe reason of being here at the film festival, it's a part of bieng on that level... exploration and.. pushing the boundaries in your imagination or your mind that then will reflect out of your mind into society. So much of the science fiction becomes science fact.

I love when he mentions his children. There's a certain extra warmth when he talks about them. Maybe I'm just imagining it, but it seems like there's a special smile in his voice. But the impression I get from him in this and all other interviews is that he wasn't, in fact, a huge sci fi fan as a child, and maybe still isn't. He didn't even want to do BSG at first because of that.

That thing about science fact reminds me of 3rd Rock From the Sun where the characters, who are aliens in human disguise, go into a sci fi convention. Shocked at the misrepresentation of aliens there, they get on stage and go, "We've had enough sci fi! Let's focus on science facts - sci-fa!! Long live sci-fa..." Hee, sci-fa! There was some talk about that in the Jules Verne stuff, so I won't comment too much here.

You're English?

James: I am. I know I don't sound it, but I am.

Uh, yes.

James: I was joking. Yeah, I do sound pretty English.

Was it easy working with Americans?

James: (mock-angry voice) No! Not at all!

It's really diferent?

James: No, they are... I'm joking again. Yeah, of course, you know... a lot of people actually, we filmed in Vancouver so it was Canadians mostly. Vancouver's a beautiful part of the world. The Canadians are really... oh dear. In Vancouver... Some of the sweetest people, kind, gentle... For five years on the set, nobody raised their voice at anybody else. You know, nobody got angry. Everything's all like, easy and cool and.. a wonderful working environment and... Yeah, I just... I loved it and loved being there.

Certainly, we're all actors, on that level, we're all human beings. I find the... I don't like to draw differences between, as it were, at us and at them.. or whatever. We're all actors, we all came together and we were all.. part of a big family. There was no distinction just because you were from London. Jamie also is from London, and it was him and me flying the flag for Britain.
When he talks about Vancouver and the people there, his voice goes all warm and fuzzy. You can tell he really means what he said. Maybe he misses Vancouver and working there now. I've noticed that when James praises people, he very often begins with "kind". It's obviously very important for him that people are kind, which isn't always a given. I really like that about him.

At this point, it began to aggravate me that the interviewer can't laugh at any of his jokes. It's obvious that he's trying to break the ice and ease her tension, but it just doesn't work. Maybe she's too nervous to laugh or relax, or maybe she just doesn't get his humor at all. It's a shame, because he's being totally adorable here. When he does the angry voice and rolls his eyes at the Americans as a joke, he really looks like he did in the Music of BSG mockumentary.
(The interviewer says something about there being only five minutes, because they're doing promotion... or something. I don't really hear her.)

James: Is it only the promotion, you don't wanna ask any more questions? I'll ask one of your questions, please.

(She doesn't seem to get that he's joking, once again. Awkward. But James is very calm and kind.)
And the nicest person in the world award goes to... Seriously, he doesn't even look uncomfortable, even if she doesn't laugh at any of his jokes. I would have been totally embarrassed at some point and just fidgeted nervously in my seat.

I'm not really blaming the interviewer, I guess. If I met James, I would probably be like this too. In fact, if I were doing this interview, I'd most likely mumble something like, "Uh.. your ch..chest hair... how many... chest hairs have you got...?" Because he has his top button undone and it's really showing and glowing, as it often is. I keep getting sidetracked staring at it. I even got sidetracked writing this. Um, but yeah, there's something cute about this interview, because it's sort of like a fan meeting between James and the interviewer. He's a great pro.

When did James realize the show was becoming a phenomenon? He starts by saying it became more and more important for him, but he can't speak for anyone else. The interviewer clarifies with something that I can't really hear, and he seems to really think hard before answering. He's looking at the wall again for a moment.

James: Well, I suppose, you know... How to put that.. Every other day somebody will come up to me and say, "Hey, I saw you in this show, we love it and we love the show.." I suppose on some really.. on some level, I totally take that for granted. I'm like, of course everybody's seen the show, why not? I'm not like a... what's the word, like a big head about it. I'm like yeah, if you've seen it then you'll know who I am.

For me, it became important after the miniseries when we came back and we were doing the first season. I was like, I suddenly realized, really, I was like... This is a job I love, this is a part that I love to play, these are people I love to be with, and I think what we're doing is really important, I think the show is important. I would meet people who hadn't seen the show, and I would say, "No, you really must!" And then I'd have to calm down a bit, because that's a bit much to people who haven't seen it. It's not like I'm going, "Watch the show" (makes a gun with his hand) with a gun in my hand.. Please.. (laughs) [I wish the interviewer laughed here, but she doesn't, and James kills his smile quickly and goes back to business.]

So it became a phenomenon for the people involved in it after the acceptance of the pilot show. You make a pilot and it disappears, you can never watch it. The fact that you're coming back for a season means you've got some stamp of approval. You've done something right, and there's some... respect and some pressure on your shouleders to continue the show on. This was very exciting for all of us.

Since it was his first central role in a series, it must have meant so much at that point. It's sometimes hard for me to remember how many small roles he had done before BSG, and how he really wasn't all that well known. I expected to find a lot of previous experience with main roles, but when I looked through his imdb resume, I realized there isn't all that much. He seems to have so much more experience, which, I guess, comes from his stage work? Or is it just natural talent like Tricia's acting? I don't know.

It's funny how BSG makes you an evangelist. I converted my girlfriend, a friend of mine converted me, and I even tried to explain to my brother why BSG matters. He said it's childish, "all these aliens coming and..." I said they're robots. "Well, same difference! Aliens, robots, alien robots... coming to destroy humans and... It's so childish." I tried to explain about the themes, but he just looked at me like I'm a bit simple. He often does that. Well, it's not much of a loss, since his verdict of Gladiator was "all the guy does is talk, there's way too little killing", while The Sopranos was "dull, I've seen two episodes from two different seasons and they were both boring." This is not someone who gives TV shows or movies a chance. But I am still a bit bitter, and this happened in January.

Is he proud of the show?

Yes, really proud. Really really very... hugely proud of being involved .. It's a real privilege, a real gift to be involved in that kind of thing.. yes. Changes your mind about the world and the way you think.. I've had lots of interviews today, lots of people ask so many different questions. This is all we wanted. It's like there's so many things still to ask about what it means, what it's about, what we're supposed to do, who's right, who's wrong. As long as we're all discussing these things, then the show has really worked on a lot of levels.

You can say you're proud in two ways. One is saying it proudly, and the other is saying it humbly. Guess which way James says it? I believe he's proud of the show and his work in it, but the way he talks about it always gives the impression that this is something greater than him or any individual who works with it. The show itself is something great that he's excited to work with, and he gives the credit for that to other people. The way I see it, James is a big part of why BSG is so great, because he brought nuance to his character that wouldn't have been there otherwise. I think he could afford to talk about it really proudly, even arrogantly, because he really did something great there. But that's just not who he is. He's the humble everyman guy. And I love him for it.

Quick Linkies

So, I finally got myself a LiveJournal account: Deniselle's Droolateria. Basically, I don't know how much I'm going to post, but the BSG icons are so awesome! I might post some random rambly fan stuff there, but all big news and updates will still be here. If you're on LJ and want to add me, feel free! My entries are so far all public. LJ doesn't show up as much in Google searches though, so maybe I should start saying all the creepy stalkerish stuff there and keep this blog to the mature, calm analyses. This blog for stuff I'm actually proud of and LJ for belly pix and donut drool puddles. Probably things will go on as before though. We'll see.

Slightly more James related: Galactica.tv has made some awesome interviews, sadly not with James, but he was mentioned in two of them.

Alessandro Juliani on working with James:

...working with James is a constant exercise in concentration -- not to crack up, because he's truly mad in the best sense of the word. Maybe we should go back to that question. I'll try to think of an anecdote or two if I can. Nothing specific is coming to mind. Needless to say we had a great chemistry together. We enjoyed
each other's company and we always had a good time working together.
It's not hard to get that impression of James even in interviews and stuff. He's just a bit creatively insane!

Michael Nankin on James:

Well I was going to say he might be the smartest actor I've ever met but he might be one of the smartest men I've ever met. I've had more intellectually stimulating conversations with him when he was drunk than with most people sober. Yeah, he's amazing.

*fangirl gushes*!! It really feels good to read how warmly everyone speaks of James. Does he have any enemies or anyone who, like, doesn't like him? I'm not saying he's a saint or anything, but...

I'm giggling a bit though, because I remember that Roundtable podcast when James got so drunk that he was... well, philosophical but totally impossible to follow. "Scientists have said that life won't be sustained on this Earth forever, so... um..." and something else in that vein. Everyone else was like "Oh my god". It'd be interesting to do a drunken interview of him and see what kind of stuff would come up.

I'm preparing a transcript of this interview, but I'll link to it before I lose it again: Sci Fi France interviewed James during the Jules Verne thing, and he was so adorable. The interviewer is a bit bumbling and doesn't seem to trust her own English, and James shows great kindness and patience. He is awesome.

And to add to my fangirl high, Martin from Views of Teamwak posted that on the final day of shooting Re-Uniting the Rubins, James brought everyone champagne and chocolates! I know that champagne is the more expensive item, but I love chocolate so much that it's just a joy to see James and chocolate even mentioned in the same context. And - he is awesome! That bears repeating.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

James Callis Quote of the Week: "We're Not So Significantly Different"

There are so many great interviews I have yet to transcribe, thought I'd make a little weekly feature (which will probably not remain weekly for long, but I'm optimistically making a label for it) - a quote from an interview that I think is particularly good.

The first one comes from the Hypaspace Podcast for May 2, 2008. It's a one-question interview about Gaius' "You are perfect just as you are" speech in Escape Velocity (Season 4.0). I think it's a particularly beautiful and eloquent response, and I want to especially compliment the Hypaspace Podcast for letting him speak without cutting in with stupid jokes or comments that he needs to react to the whole time. (The link goes to an mp3 file; the James interview is first, right after the news.)

"An extreme amount of pressure is being, um, burst(?) upon this person, and a lot of it is self-inflicted. The more pressure that is exerted... it seems the more extreme the reactions are to that pressure. And what we see in somebody like Gaius Baltar is somebody going thru the run of... You know, it looks like it can't get any worse, and then it suddenly does. And he's just going thru lower and lower cycles, and he's in a desperate, as it were, desperate self-need of... wanting not to be guilty anymore. I don't know if that's redemption necessarily. So he's finding it for himself, it's kind of... You know, he's the person who WANTS to believe it more than anything else... and I think on that level, those things look most impassioned and there's people to hear it.

But on another level, you know... It's a cry for help and also a cry for hope in some way. Essentially he's saying that... Once you've looked into the very deepest place within yourself... You will understand that so many people are so similar to you. That all of the things that you think divide you are just... They're an illusion, they're constructs. And that's why you know the truth about others, because you know the truth about yourself, we're not so significantly different, nobody... When you know the truth about yourself, and when you look deep within yourself, it's like looking into... I don't know.

There's a lot of things that everybody is capable of when push comes to shove, when your life or those that you love are threatened. When that happens, I believe your brain works in a different way. And I think that there's something about seeing in the darkness which then makes you run... Run for the light, run for the hope. And on that level, he's just been... You know, the darkness is, one man's just beaten the shit out of him. And actually beating him up... of... some logical.. what was it? Legal ... thing... they weren't allowed to be more than twelve people in assembly. So what is it... monsters follow the dream of reason, something like that."

I've noticed James says "on some level" and "on one level" and similar things a lot, and it's not just in this interview. Maybe it speaks of his multi-layered way of thinking: nothing's really that simple and you need to acknowledge the different levels of thought and emotion involved in our reactions.

I found this quote particularly touching, because you can hear his deep compassion and respect for other people so well. It's one of the things I love the most about him. He sees all people as equally valuable, and while I don't think anyone is free of biases, I really admire people who try to see everyone as equal. A part of that is appreciating variety in personalities and views, but also seeing the similarity underlying them. I think this kind of thinking is the basis for all diplomacy or equality or peace, because we need to see each other that way to build a society where we can truly be free and be human.

When he says things like this, I feel a deep, warm connection with him. Maybe it's because we have similar values, or because I struggle with seeing myself as valuable, and it feels healing to think James would value me like everyone else. Or maybe it's because he's expressing a deep connection all humans share on some level. Because we're not so significantly different.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ramble Baubles

I feel like rambling today, so I will. Every post doesn't need to have something of value. Right? I feel like announcing upcoming features though, so maybe I see this blog as some kind of news channel for James fans lately. There has been a flurry of new James stuff, so there's a lot I haven't posted.

Things I'm planning to post in the near future:
-James Callis/Mark Sheppard part 2 from Starfury - seriously, I will get to this one day.
-James quotes from the Jules Verne press conference and a more coherent quote/added commentary on the actual event ones.
-MegaCon panel James bits transcript.
-Other interview transcripts.
-Sex, Chips & Rock'n'Roll, Going Wrong, Heat of the Sun, As If, Soldier, Soldier etc. - some sort of reviews or discussions since I have seen all of these and have some things to say. (But since they're all so old, I'm thinking they can wait until I feel like it, whenever that may be...)

Oh, and watch this interview. It's so funny. "He's trying to save his own ass" - touches his bum* - "had to touch it to check it's still there!" Heee :D I don't know if it's that
a) he touches his bum,
b) he says that,
c) the underlying idea of his bum makes me horny,
but I have been just rewatching that bit over and over. And it's just generally a good interview. Done in France during Jules Verne, James is very cute, and is NOT dubbed over, thank Dieu.

* = James points AND giggles for using "bum". Heh heh, "bum"!

OK, on to rambling. These are some random baubles from my brain today.

I'm pretty excited about the baby. I was having a bad week, but I've been walking on clouds since that post by James. My girlfriend asked me yesterday, all concerned: "You haven't changed your mind about not having children, right?" She claimed it wasn't because of James' baby, but I don't know. I'm not having any children with her, that's for sure - you should see the way she tortures her Sims families.

About the name:
I was initially surprised, because to me, Annika is a very Scandinavian name. It's quite common around here, as well. I thought they'd pick something either Jewish or Indian, so it struck me as off character. That's not to say that they're restricted to the Jewish/Indian tradition only - if they wanted to call her Astrid ├ůsa Gunhild, more power to them. But people generally have a specific naming style, and I thought I had them pegged.

Then I found out that Anika with one N can also be a Hindi name - it's another name for the goddess Durga, who's a pretty fierce character, at least based on the Wikipedia article. (I must confess to my utter ignorance of Hindu culture. I didn't really understand any of it.) It could also be a form of the Jewish-origin Anna, but since they have used the one N form, I'm guessing the Hindi connotation is more important. I'm not sure how they're pronouncing it, though. Maybe a longer ee sound?

Some more name ponders for those who care:
-All of James' children have names ending in -a (Joshua, Sacha, Anika). In fact, James is the only one in the family whose name doesn't end in -a.
-Joshua's middle name is Amaan, which means he has altogether six A's in his name. All of the names are pretty A heavy, so we can conclude James and Neha like the letter A.
-James and Joshua both have the initials JC.
-What's James' middle name? Does he have one? I've never seen it listed anywhere. Is he Just James? Maybe it's something really embarrassing, so he doesn't want it to be known. I remember one of P.G. Wodehouse's stories had a man named Lemuel Gengulphus. He went by his last name only. You never know.

Anika is about one month old now. (L)!

Today marks two months of donuts, although I must admit I'm not quite as obsessed with it anymore (especially in light of the baby news). Just let me know if there are any aspects of James' five-year-old weight gain story I haven't addressed yet. I would happily go deeper into it. Anyone? Hello? Well, I guess I'll... shut up then... (sigh... Not even a direct quote from James anywhere!)

Someone posted a bunch of Starfury photos on flickr, now that I'm no longer updating the Starfury post. Well, here they are in the search - pretty awesome shots. (Hmm, he looked ever so slightly chubbier in Starfury, didn't he? *drool*)

"Click on profile for a picture of a short, drunk, painfully British man." Short and drunk, OK, but what's so painful about being British?

...Apparently this:

It was an attitude slight on him alone. The poor guy was so uptight no matter how many Guinesses we gave him. I have nothing at all against the British, but he acted the stereotypical part the entire night. Nice enough guy, but really needs to loosen up.

Okay. So he was - what? Polite? Not dancing naked on the tables? Not doing whatever you consider cool? Whatever. I'd be concerned if people went around saying he goes really CRAZY at cons after drinking so much.

Flight of the Falcon audio book: Finished it. I thought it was really captivating at first, maybe because of the voices and accents James got to do. I liked the first two discs as well as the last two, but in between, the story kind of dwinled to nothing as tons of Italian person and street names were listed. Disappointing. It was still lovely to hear James' voice though, and he really lived in the story right til the end. I did enjoy some aspects of the story. I hope I'll get to hear his children's book readings some day too.

Had a dream about James. Subconscious mind, I am very disappointed in you today. You call that a fan dream? You could have given me a surprise meeting with hugs and kisses, or wild sexual practices I dare not dream of while awake. What did you give me? Me sitting on the other side of the room, shyly staring at James as he talks to other fans. And not daring to go to him. That was a weak show.

Maybe my mind is trying to tell me something about going to Starfury in November. Long story short: some people are tentatively going, and James will be there. It'd be a great chance to meet him and some fans, and to see London again. But but.

I've thought about this a lot. While I'd love personal contact with James, con meetings are so... impersonal. From what I've heard, you stand in line up to an hour and a half, then pay to get an autograph and/or picture, get a brief chat, and then it's time for the next person to meet him. There are hundreds of people, it's like a conveyor belt. James is great at these meetings, because he's great at meeting new people and making them feel welcome. So I'm not exactly nervous about him being rude or arrogant or dissing me or something.

However, I'm not sure what to expect. What's my role as one of the James Callis bloggers? Am I just another fan in line to meet him, or should I expect something more out of it? Does he read my blog, and will it be awkward if he doesn't? Will it be awkward if he does? Will I be able to stop myself from ruffling his chest hair and patting his tummy (or lack thereof) and telling him to eat more donuts or something? (And if I did those things, would he like it?)

Furthermore, I can be very shy at first meetings. I worry I'd dissolve into a puddle of fangirl goo and not be able to utter one sensible word - and then it'd be time for the next person to talk to him and my possibly only chance of talking to James would be lost.

I'm really not sure what to do. The risk of disappointment is high, but it could also be really awesome. I could observe with my own eyes what he has on his table, and report any possible Coke-drinking or other fetish items. I could bring him something. I could get a photo with him. .. I don't know. I'm very yes-no yes-no right now. But with almost six months to go, I'm sure I'll make up my mind by then. We'll see.

I think I've rambled enough for tonight and it's time for bed. James on you all!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Baby Girl For James Callis!

I've had quite a few "James Callis baby" searches, but I haven't wanted to comment on this too much until James himself posts something.

So without further ado, the post:

thought I'd drop in and tell you
yes we have a baby girl - and her name is Anika-

very exciting and sleepless nights in the suburbs

she didn't come while I was at Fedcon - but were told she might - as it happens - she arrived on the weekend nicely slotted between two days of filming either side.
Awww! Congratulations to James and Neha, as well as big brothers Joshua and Sacha! Great news!

I thought I wouldn't react that strongly since I already read the news some weeks ago, but just reading James talk about it and seeing the name and everything... I am crying. I'm just so happy.

Incidentally, I've been spotting Indian babies left and right lately, and one with soo much thick hair especially springs to mind. It really looked like a spawn of James.

Shawn Mullins has a song called Shimmer which I've been listening to and thinking of the baby, so I'll share the lyrics here. I'm paraphrasing, since the baby in the song is a boy, but it applies just as well to a girl. There's a live clip of the song here.

Sharing with us what she knows
Her shining eyes are big and blue
And all around her water flows
The world to her is new

To touch a face
To kiss a smile
The new eyes see no race
The essence of a child

She's born to shimmer
She's born to shine
She's born to radiate
She's born to live
She's born to love
But we will teach her how to hate

There's something very touching to me about James having children, and I guess some of it is just that he happens to be my idol. But I think when a person with true wisdom and warmth has children, you know that they will be loved and taught to respect life and other people. James shimmers, and I think his children will too.

A long life to little Anika Callis - sniff!! - and all the best to the whole family!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday James Callis!

A birthday picture I made all by myself, with the help of my loyal (?!) pet snail Shukla (who was supposed to eat the flower, but I don't think she got what it was...) But there's a dandelion for your bday and I hope you don't find snails gross or anything.

OK, so I don't have anything super special planned, and I'm a day early, but I'm having a good day and trying to delay going to work for as long as possible (everybody wants to take a phone survey in the summer). So I will post this today.

Merlin: Haven't seen it yet, apart from the first 30 minutes. Lots of people are laughing at it, including at James' voice and accent, and after seeing a bit, I'm relieved. It's really not that bad. It's for the kids and the first scene is pretty silly, but the James bits aren't bad at all. He speaks in a Welsh accent, and I understand him pretty well, so I might wanna transcribe some of it for those interested (even for mocking purposes). Obviously it's a made for tv movie, so it can't be a super budget blockbuster. Let's cut it some slack, eh?

So here's my little birthday special... Firstly, my descent into fangirlish madness, as it happened before I started this blog. And then a look at James' messages over the years at the unofficial website.

How I Became a Slobbering Fangirl, by Deniselle (sexiest parts censored out, sorry!)

June 2008

(Anttila Top Ten Megastore, DVD section)
Oh, so this is that show my friend wouldn't stop talking about? Battlestar Galactica. 19,99. That's not a bad price. The cover looks pretty lame though. Hot blonde in a red dress? Yeah, I'll love this *eye-roll*. Well, whatever, I have the extra cash.

(The DVD lies in wait for about three weeks.) It's raining again and I might as well watch something new - OK, Galactica, I'm giving you a chance, but I will probably hate you.

JAMES CALLIS. Such a cute rhymey name. (Was that Sackhoff or Hoffsack? And Tahmoh Penikett?! This be the show of exotic names.)

The blonde must be the bad guy, because she's obviously about to do something evil here. Yup, snapped a baby's neck. Knew it. She is pretty though.

OK, she's REALLY pretty. And hot. And so is this guy.

Gaius Baltar is fascinating! He's such a weasel, yet I can't help but love him. So full of arrogance and guilt and despair - and lust. So hot. Who's playing this guy? Why hello JAMES CALLIS, we meet again.

Baltar! How can I find a MAN so sexy? Hey hormones! This guy has a PENIS! Think about it. Wow, even that made me hot. Worst. Lesbian. Ever.

Can't sleep. Must think of Baltar and Six.

Convinced girlfriend to watch the miniseries. She's reluctant; she doesn't think she'll like it. "What about just the Baltar bits? They're hot!" She agrees to download the miniseries. Is captivated by Baltar and Six.

July 2008

(Brother's house, catsitting. He has an ENORMOUS TV which really does the BSG visuals justice!)
Bought season three, watching it. Rewatching seasons one and two with girlfriend. My files are DVDs, hers are downloaded, so there are some time differences. Our rendezvous point is NICKI CLYNE. I eat, sleep and breathe Battlestar Galactica. I'm an addict. So is my girlfriend - I never thought she'd get this into the show. We barely talk about anything else.

Can't sleep. Must think of Baltar and Six and D'Anna.

So. Gaius Baltar fascinates me, and I love the acting choices here. But do I really want to know more about this James Callis character? He's probably an arrogant prick and some of the magic will be gone. Look how much arrogance he brings to Baltar. It's probably mostly his own.

(Galactica Quorum interview) ...He...sounds...nothing at all like Gaius. He sounds...warm and friendly? Funny and witty? ...I think I like him. A lot. I'll listen to this again.

No. No no no no no. I will not be a fan again. All the expectation, excitement, disappointments - it takes so much mental energy. I'm too old for this! Just no. Heart, I command you to stop.

(Sci Fi Q&A's)
I really like his humor. It's natural and bubbly, friendly... it's not lame or childish or sleazy. He's just naturally funny. I... *morphs into fangirl* *slaps self* NO! Stop this! I'll go do something totally not James Callis-related. Like rewatch Six and Gaius have sex.

(lurking at the Unofficial Website) Awww, he writes to the fans? Such a nice guy! He really sounds genuinely warm and modest. I... *morphs into fangirl* *unable to morph back* James-chan wa kawaiii!!! xD xD

I'm making myself vulnerable. There's no way of knowing what he thinks of things. He might be against everything I'm for, and for everything I'm against, and I'll be crushed. But what can I do? I just love him so much. I am a fan. The die is cast.

August 2008
Dammit, I'm starting a blog about him. Who knows, maybe James will even read it himself? Heh heh. -Oh my GOD, maybe he WILL read it. Maybe I should reconsider.

There are probably dozens of similar blogs already and I'll only make a fool of myself. ...can't find any... can't find any... Why can't I post in forums or get to know some people first? It might be odd that I start a blog first thing. Well, that's just me. I start blogs.

No one's going to read this blog. It'll be childish and fangirlish and stupid and I MUST TELL THE WORLD HOW MUCH I LOVE JAMES CALLIS. *Creates blog*

The rest is history. The first few posts were a bit careful and probing, but I've had so much fun writing this blog and meeting all the people I've met thru it. What can I say? Almost a full year as a fangirl, and only one disappointment. Honestly, if this guy has any flaws you know of, please report them to me. I'm still looking for them. I know I probably put him on a pedestal, but maybe he's just perfect?

I wasn't eager to become a fan, because it takes so much mental energy, but to be honest, weighing everything I've gotten out of this vs. everything I've lost - which is mainly time spent writing this blog - it's really a pretty good deal. I'm glad I wasn't able to resist the pull. I may be silly, slobbery and lame, but loving him has given me something positive during depression, and some great new friends. I couldn't be happier. Thank you so much, James. :*

I thought I'd also take a look thru the years with James' Messages to fans at the Unofficial website. The first ones are from ten years ago, 1999. It's strange to think of. Do take a look around, but I'll just quote a couple of particularly funny/heartwarming bits I've found.

From the first message (entitled Gratitude'n'Thanx):

Thank-you so much for all the time you have put in to make this website so much fun for me to navigate my way around, I can only hope you hardcore lupines don't get too lonely, and that this virtual candle doesn't get snuffed out by web-malaise, or the fact there may be ever decreasing numbers of you to talk too...

It's so nice of him to stop by and talk to the fans, although you can tell that he's unsure if the site will go on, or if the fans will continue to be interested in him. (What's "web-malaise"?) A little confidence, James? If people care enough to make a website, they generally don't give you up after a few months.

P.S: I WOULDN'T SUBJECT MY WORST ENEMY TO 10 HOURS OF SOLDIER SOLDIER (dubbed "Sailor Sailor", by the time I was in it).

Bwah! Having seen one episode of the show - ok, the James-parts only -, I can say he's probably not exaggerating. It's... not a good show. At all. In fact, it's a terrible, terrible show and possibly the worst he's ever been involved in. It's good for a laugh, but ... actually it's not even good for that. Skip it.

Message two, with some more self-deprecation going on:

Back from Instanbul, having gone bezerky out in Turkey, to find that you're all still here... quelle surprise...

Why would they have abandoned the site, especially after he sent them a message? ..."bezerky out in Turkey"? Is he one of those guys who thinks of an annoying pun of any place he visits? What's your Finland pun, James?

He was reading The Flight of the Falcon around that time. It's strange that I just heard it. They were also still working on Beginner's Luck.
P.S: I checked out the mailing list and found that you were planning to get something "functional for me for XCrimbo". All I can say is that it is the thought that counts and don't waste your hard-earned dough on me... I will never appear in any advert whatever where I have to turn to camera and declare simperingly "Because I'm worth it!"... I'm so not...

Oh, James! He sounds mortified at the thought of the fans spending money on him. This is why I didn't try to think of something special for this birthday post, because if he's still of the same mind and he still reads fan sites, he might just be embarrassed.

Message 3 - I won't quote every single one, but bear with me - is just a warm and fuzzy praise to all the fans.

I kind of feel that I know you (the hard coreres - and you know who you are...). I have read through the message board and travelled with you since late October, I have been party to practically all the goss.... I have smiled at the thought of all of you meeting up, because I believe you make quite a witty and boisterous posse... I have read with worry about too much work, inane boredom and job losses, only to be heartened by job creations and the end of the flu...
I wonder how James feels now that he has more fans and less time on his hands - does he still find the time to travel with us?

I think we got some great footage for "Beginner's Luck", hopefully by the time it is completed we won't have changed the title to "jaded old hands"... because let me tell you, darlings, quite frankly filming can be a joy but editing is a soul-destroying nighmare, and we have been editing for well on 6 months, and every weekend doing more filming, such is the lot of a independent (low budget) producer.
Sadly, this feeling did come thru in the film somewhat. But I hope it at least made for some happy memories for him.

Message 5 - James had been burgled and his laptop taken. I wonder if the burglars realized it was the laptop of a famous actor? (Well, maybe he wasn't particularly famous at the time, but still.)

The insurance company still haven't reimbursed me for the laptop... but insist on sending fatuous missives inquiring as to what I "specifically" use my pc for... shall I write back and tell them it's so I can tune into this sight? Somehow I don't think it's going to do me any favours...
Hee! "I use it to check my own fansites." I don't really get why he had to explain to them what he uses it for. Isn't that his own business?

Message 6, March 2000:

as Rikkie suggests, if confined solely to matters concerning moi, there really wouldn't be all that much to talk about and I sincerely doubt many such surfers as myself would enjoy tuning in half so much if we couldn't find out what all of you are like... if you know what I mean... So I say, keep the chat alive... whatever, it is the spreading of ideas that is constantly changing the world, in no matter how minute a fashion (let's hope for the better!).

It's noticeable that at this point, he still wasn't using a lot of dashes. There's more "...". Later on, the dashes took hold of him, and nothing was ever the same again. He became a superhero known as - The Dash.

I feel a bit bad that I haven't posted more in the forum. But I express myself through blogs, and I'm not really a forum type. The problem with the current fanbase is that it's scattered around the net. Some of it is on LiveJournal, some is on twitter - mostly in private accounts, but for those interested, myself, kixxa and Elina have public accounts - and some still on their own blogs and websites, appearing only when they've just met James at a con or something. I have dozens of regular readers that never seem to pop up anywhere. The internet has reached wider, and smaller communities have emerged. It's good that there are lurkers who may be too shy or just too busy to post, but sometimes I feel we lack a common forum. Maybe we should bring new life to the JC website. It sounds like it was a great place to hang out once.

James' situation has also changed. He used to write to fans every month, going by this page. But the fact that he still writes about every three months, with kids and a much busier career, speaks of his ongoing devotion. Much appreciated, James.

On Bridget Jones' Diary:

I have just been cast in the film of none other than Bridget Jones's Diary... but before you get too exited, I'm playing her best friend Tom... that's right the one who bats ever so convincingly for alter side, and filming started yesterday, seeing me (not quite sure if you will as was in back of shot mostly... again t.g) dancing my soul away with some enormous male escorts.... this one's certainly going to be a voyage of discovery, so I will be coming to a cinema near you, but probably not how you expected to see me, certainly I suspected nothing of the kind....

Well, it is a role where you play a gay guy, so maybe some gay dancing was expected? :D He sounds amusingly mortified. I will probably never understand heterosexual men's attitude on this issue, but it amuses me a lot.

More on the film:

there is of course another storyline that is whipped up every day, impromptu like, by myself and the other delightful lesser mortals whom malign fate has called upon to be B's "friends", as we sit in the spooky caravans and dream of one day getting onto the set, and perhaps (and I know this is crazy) that someone might make a mistake and we might actually end up in the film after all, but at the moment the caravan storyline isn't being shot.

Yeah, they didn't have much to do in the film, did they? It's a shame, because Tom is a pretty awesome character in the book. It sounds like he had fun with the other cast members though, and became somewhat known in the stewardess circles... I can just see them sitting in the trailer smoking and talking about what could be.

BL obviously exhausted him totally, as the next notes are a bit low in tone. Especially this one:

I've recently moved and the guy who lives above me is in severe need of having his stereo system shoved up his arse. What else? Bought a bicycle, fascinating, fascinating. Work wise I have just made the briefest of appearances in a tv show called AS IF and am currently filming Victoria and Albert (playing Albert's brother Ernest) I say practically nothing and I look... well I'm just hoping you all miss it and then maybe this website may stay running a bit longer than it would... Got in himmel wast else?

He still manages to be funny though. Incidentally, if you want to see how he looked in Victoria and Albert, see here. It's not that bad! It's just... an old-style hairdo?

There are quite a few notes on Beginner's Luck- excited ones, as the film got screenings at various places. The hard work was rewarded. I feel a bit bad reading these, because I wasn't able to like BL very much. I thought I could see what James was going for there, but I couldn't. I felt more distant to him rather than closer, which was disappointing. But it's not who James is, rather who he was ten years ago, right? Or maybe I just don't know him very well. I'm disappointed in myself as a fan. I wanted to like the film that meant so much to him. Oh well.

As for As If:

It's Saturday morning. I got back from Delhi (note no beaches!!) a few days ago and cringed my way through As If AAARGHHHH!!

Heh heh. I've seen the ep, and it was... well... It's not a bad performance and his chest hair can be seen in a scene, so... Well, I can't seem to stop laughing right now, heh heh heh heh. Hee. OK.

Some notes from a longer message:

Is there a sequel? Apparently Renee's been approached and so has Kate Winslet... sadly I have not been approached as yet, but maybe they'd like me to take over from where Hugh left off (As if)

I wish. He would have done a much better job too.

It's a weird thing but when you play a character especially on a t.v / film set people kind of think you are the character, when I was playing an idiot in Zimbabwe, the unit treated me like an idiot, doing B.J.D everyone naturally assumed I was gay, I told them I was married, they thought it was a ruse - Hugh in particular was quite stunned when towards the end of filming he found out I was "straight".

It's so odd that even film people think like that. And yes, like I mentioned above, I did think he'd be an arrogant prick after seeing him as Gaius. I can't say I like Hugh Grant more after reading about his treatment of James on the BJD set. (Homophobic a-hole. Ahem.)

This cracked me up:

And spotted in the King's Road? What can I say? I was there, I'm not sure how sexy the jacket was or how yummy I was, just been to the doc, mandatory check-up every time you do a job for insurance purposes. It was the quickest check up in world history.

I'm asking myself would I pinch someone's bottom if I'd seen them on T.V. It's certainly a novel way of introducing yourself.

Bwah! I'm sure he was totally yummy - but I still wouldn't pinch his ass. I'm much too shy for that kind of thing. (He can pinch mine anytime, though.)

The meaning of lupines:

So "Lupines?" Yes wolflike also applicable is "Vulpines" which is really wolflike the former referring to a canine genus (not necessarily a wolf, but in this case as mentioned ok etc.etc.)

Thank you, Professor James. It always makes me think of these flowers though.

On a more serious note, James' reactions to 9-11:

Building structures takes real work, real commitment to the future:- hospitals, schools; Diplomacy not bomb-making is a truer test of reaching out of your own circle to touch the lives of others and universally improve your (plural) lot...

So these madmen who claim to uphold the rights and respects of several communities whom we know not of, uphold only the enormous vanity of wanting their unspeakable names to go down in History for this atrocity

So far, I agree completely. Doing good is much harder, and has more far-reaching consequences, than destroying life.

Their claims to be freedom fighters, or fighters for conscience, are completely counterfeit. The people who they claim to support will only find misery and terror from their slight association with these animals and I hope that those responsible are hunted down like rats, for they have shown no mercy and no humanity.

Who knows whether there will be justice or vengeance or both. The Free World has been attacked and it must retaliate and no one is any position to dictate to the U.S on what kind of scale this retribution will take place.

That's interesting. Is that a pro-war sentiment he's expressing here? I know this is immediately after (the 13th), so maybe it shouldn't be read as a comment that all actions of the US after the attack were acceptable. So many innocent people suffered as a result of this that it takes away any "God Bless America" mentality I might have had. Yes, it was shocking and I'm sure most western people were devastated, but the US certainly got their revenge, and then some.

A very rambly message from India:

It may not feel like it, normally quite the contrary but "Everything in life is an opportunity", that's all I will say You'll have to forgive me all but I have been reading "Thus Spake Zarathrustra" and it's quite an eye-opener.

Actually, this whole message reads more like "thus spake marijuana", but whatever you say...

So vast else? Lots of curry and seeing family I haven't seen since last year. and that really is about it. I'm writing (have written) a screenplay and am now in the process of re-draughting (actually re-thinking since new thoughts haven't as yet crystalized into words on the page as yet).

Hmmm? I wonder what this project is, and if we'll ever see it. It's "was", by the way, if you're going for German, James. :P Edit: Artemis_Neith suggested it might be Yiddish. So maybe I'm teasing him for no reason.

P.S Spell checker is being tempramental and taking an ffing eon to load so sod it, please accept this mail as it appears illiterally on your screen.

Hee! :D Like I said, it sounds like a particularly incoherent message as a whole. Somehow he gets very loveable like this. The message did literally appear on my screen though, despite the temperament of the spell checker.

Having fun partying while shooting Helen of Troy, but not so much fun looking like Menelaus:

So I'm not sure what it will look like, but have no fear cos they really made me look foul in this one! For the first month and a half several of the other actors would enquire why, when I had nice hair, I was wearing a wig? I was 2 furious to reply that I wasn't!!! Hair and make up vis/ Kiss o'death! Any how mustn't grumble.

Yeah, the hair was... interesting... :D I still haven't managed to see the whole film, but it's amusing indeed to see how he looked.

The origin of Callis:

One branch of the family were called Zlychevski or Zolachoffski (no-one is quite sure) However I looked up the name in the Diaspora museum in Tel Aviv and Believe my name " Callis" actually comes from the Polish KALLISHT and means something like ... wait for it.... "Lime Picker" I kid u not! Sadly no aristocracy in these bones of mine.

Bwah! Lime Picker! And James comes from Jacob. So... Jacob the Lime Picker? That sounds like a great children's show. Thank god he ended up a Callis and not a ... Zlychevski? That would have taken me ages to learn to spell!

Damn, I have to get to work now... I realize this message is pretty long as it is, so I'll just post it. I might add to it (still got five years of messages to get thru!) but maybe it's good as it is.

I LOVE YOU JAMES! I hope you continue to have a dazzling career and blip in to say hi to the fans every now and then. Please chronicle all future film roles, donut-induced weight gains and terrible puns you can think of. *GIGANTIC FANGIRL HUG*